Join us through the enchanting realm of textile art as we sit down with Moira Nilsson, a visionary artist whose creations blur the boundaries between the tangible and the ethereal. With roots deeply embedded in the lush landscapes of Sweden and branches reaching into the urban landscapes of Tokyo, Moira's artistic odyssey is a testament to the transformative power of nature and human perception. Dive with us as we unravel the threads of her creative process, uncover the inspirations behind her latest masterpieces, and peer into the boundless possibilities that lie ahead for this luminary of the textile world.

The following interview has been edited and condensed.

COMA: Let's begin by discussing your journey. Could you share with us your path in the world of textiles and what drew you to explore this medium?

Moira: Certainly. I've always had a creative impulse since I was young, but I explored various mediums before settling on textiles. From ceramics to painting, I dabbled in many forms of art. However, it was during my time at the Preparatory Art School (Nyckelviksskolan) in Stockholm that I delved deeper into craft and discovered weaving and screen printing. It was the tactile nature of textiles that captivated me the most. After that, I pursued further studies in textiles at HDK-Valands  bachelor program Textile-Body-Space, which I recently completed. My exploration of this medium has been driven by a deep curiosity and a desire to translate the beauty of nature into tangible forms.

COMA: Fascinating journey, Moira. Your work often explores the intersection of nature and human perception. Could you elaborate on how these themes inspire and inform your artistic practice?

Moira: Living in close proximity to nature has deeply influenced my work. The beauty and complexity of the natural world constantly inspire me. I strive to capture the intricate details and ephemeral moments found in nature, whether it's the play of light through leaves or the reflections in water. I want to convey the sense of wonder and discovery that comes from observing the world around us. My goal is to make the hidden visible and to evoke a sense of connection with the natural environment.

COMA: Your pieces on display here at Coma seem to explore the concept of perception and space through shapes and textures. Could you tell us more about these pieces and what messages or experiences you hope viewers take away from them?

Moira: Certainly. Each piece is an exploration of different techniques and materials, all centered around the theme of perception and space nature. For example, Touching Nature resembles a bark and is inspired by the traces of the human body in the forest. It combines felting techniques to create a tactile and organic texture. The piece, As the Water Shaped Us, is a study in machine knitting and felting, playing with the interaction between different materials. Finally, the intricately machinated piece, Folded Ground, pushes the limits of knitting machines, highlighting the delicate balance between control and spontaneity in my work. Overall, I hope viewers are drawn into a dialogue with the pieces, exploring their textures and forms while contemplating their own perceptions of space and nature.

COMA: Your background includes studying at various art institutions. How have these experiences shaped your artistic style and approach?

Moira: My time at art institutions provided me with a solid foundation in various techniques and mediums. This knowledge has allowed me to experiment and push the boundaries of traditional textile art. Each experience has contributed to my artistic evolution, encouraging me to continually challenge myself and explore new ideas. Whether it was studying i(on the Swedish countryside) or in Tokyo, every environment has influenced my perspective and inspired new directions in my work.

COMA: Your creative process sounds fascinating. Could you share more about how you approach developing a new piece?

Moira: My creative process usually begins with a moment of inspiration—a sight, a texture, or a feeling that sparks my imagination. I often start by taking photographs or making sketches to capture these initial impressions. From there, I experiment with different techniques and materials, allowing the process itself to guide me. I'm constantly refining and iterating, seeking to translate my vision into a tangible form. It's a dynamic and iterative process that often leads to unexpected discoveries along the way.

COMA: Your pieces are incredibly tactile, inviting viewers to touch and experience them. Do you envision your work being interacted with in a museum or gallery setting?

Moira: While I would love for viewers to engage with my work on a tactile level, I also recognize the challenges of preserving delicate materials in a public setting. However, I'm open to exploring ways to make my work more accessible and interactive, perhaps through guided touch experiences or specialized installations. Ultimately, I want my art to inspire curiosity and connection, whether through sight or touch.

COMA: What upcoming projects or exhibitions do you have in store for 2024?

Moira: I'm excited to be part of an upcoming exhibition this spring //slå in// slå ut// together with three friends at Craft Days in Gothenburg , where I'll be showcasing new works exploring the theme of window reflections'.' Additionally, I'll be presenting printed works in Malmo at Southern Swedish Design Days at the end of May . I'm constantly applying for new opportunities and exploring fresh avenues for my art.

COMA: That sounds fantastic, Moira. We'll definitely keep an eye out for your upcoming exhibitions. Any final thoughts on what you hope viewers take away from experiencing your artwork?

Moira: I hope my art sparks a sense of wonder and curiosity, encouraging viewers to see the world around them in a new light. Whether it's through tactile exploration or contemplation of space and perception, I want my work to inspire a deeper connection with nature and the beauty that surrounds us.

March, 2024 - COMA Editorial team